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    Distinctly Contrasted 1904 Five Dollar, PR67 Cameo

    1904 $5 PR67 Cameo NGC. This Superb Gem proof has stunning mirrored fields and impressive design definition, with bright and pristine surfaces. Both sides are light yellow with lustrous lemon-yellow devices. The devices retain considerable frost, although a polished area around the eye is typical of nearly all survivors. Despite certification of a single finer piece, the present example is undoubtedly one of the finest that any collector could hope to acquire.
    Just 136 proof half eagles were coined in 1904. Survival estimates fall in the range of 50 to 75 coins, and less than half of that number have strong cameo contrast. At the beginning of the 20th century, Mint officers concluded that cameo contrast on proof coins was undesirable, much the opposite of numismatic opinion today. As a result of their beliefs at the time, few proof coins showed any contrast, and such cameo proofs are rare and highly desirable today. For proof half eagle issues of 1902 through 1907, NGC and PCGS combined have certified 361 normal proofs, 203 Cameo proofs, and exactly one Ultra Cameo proof. Regarding the 1904 issue, Garrett and Guth comment, "Most of the coins seen are deeply mirrored, and they lack the frosted devices seen on most of the examples struck before 1902. Although a few superb coins are known, most of the coins grade PF-64 at best." The average NGC and PCGS certified grade is just 63.4. Studies for other denominations would undoubtedly yield similar results.
    Many important collections include an example of this proof half eagle issue, but almost invariably in much lower grade than the present piece. The Smithsonian Institution has two examples, PR64 Cameo and PR63 Cameo. Harry Bass owned a coin that PCGS certified as PR65. The Eliasberg coin is similarly graded. The Norweb, Pittman, and Garrett coins are each about PR64, and the Trompeter Collection coin graded PR63. Census: 4 in 67 Cameo, 1 finer (10/09).(Registry values: P1)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 28DA, PCGS# 88499)

    Weight: 8.36 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    View Certification Details from NGC

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2009
    3rd-6th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 5,041

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